Despite the fact that at the early stages 5-year survival rate in patients with prostate cancer reaches 100%, not all tumors demonstrate sufficient response to the conventional therapeutic regimens.
Therefore, international medical scientists are in the ongoing search for new options. Molecule PSMA-617 that was created by specialists of the University Hospital Heidelberg and German Cancer Research Center has become the basis of promising technique – Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy.
Requirements to the treatment of metastatic cancer
In metastatic prostate cancer doctors need to fight not only the primary tumor but the secondary oncological lesions as well. Metastases can spread to the skeleton, liver, lungs and other distant organs. At this stage cancer treatment in Germany has special requirements:
- Absence or minimization of side effects, as patients often have unsatisfying general health state.
- Minimal damage to healthy tissues, as active destruction of the bone metastases may lead to pathological fractures.
- Ability to target all metastases, including loci in tissues with low metabolic activity (i.e. bones).
- Preventing further spreading of the primary tumor.
- Shrinking primary tumor and distant metastases (this leads to the symptoms alleviation).
- Treatment efficacy estimation with easy-to-perform diagnostic procedures.
- Short hospital stay or performing as the outpatient procedure.
How does Lutetium-177 work?
Considering all the requirements, therapy with 177Lutetium PSMA is the most beneficial option exactly for patients with metastatic cancer. After connecting to the PSMA-617 molecule, radiopharmaceutical accumulates specifically in the prostate cancer cells regardless of their localization in the body. This means that irradiation destroys only malignant cells.
The procedure is well tolerated. A patient typically spends in the hospital no more than 2-4 days. Control osteoscintigraphy and PSMA-PET CT scans demonstrate early therapy results already in few days.
PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test also reflects decrease of the disease activity and may be administered as more cost-effective control examination.
Due to the unique properties of the PSMA-617 molecule, PSMA therapy with Lutetium-177 is applied in patients with castrate-resistant malignancies, in failure of initial hormone therapy or chemotherapy, and as the measure of salvage therapy.
Choosing the healthcare facility
Patients from the regions with poorly developed healthcare systems often seek opportunities to receive therapy with Lutetium PSMA in Germany. This is quite reasonable, as novel treatments are primarily available in limited number of world’s leading hospitals.
Beyond all doubt, over time this mode of radiation therapy will be used in the majority of countries, but in case of metastatic cancer it is better to start therapy as soon as possible.
According to the independent ratings and annual qualification reports, list of the best hospitals for the targeted treatment of prostate cancer in Germany includes:
- University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Dresden.
- University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg.
- University Hospital Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt am Main.
- University Hospital Muenster, Muenster.
- University Hospital of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich.
These hospitals offer quick terms of preparing individual radiopharmaceuticals (solution of the Lutetium-177 cannot be stored or prepared in advance due to the short shelf life) and all necessary pre and post procedure tests. Chance to undergo treatment timely and achieve the beneficial results is undoubtedly worth travelling to Germany.
Planning treatment abroad with Booking Health
When you are planning to undergo radioligand therapy using Lutetium PSMA in Germany it is better to investigate carefully information for the foreign patients.
Non-residents have separate waiting lists, need to receive treatment invitation from the hospital, take care about translation of the medical documents, etc. In case you do not have relevant international experience, it is better to use services of Booking Health.
Booking Health is the certified medical tourism operator that unites experts in the prostate cancer treatment and arranges medical programs for patients from 75 countries.
Booking Health will competently and reliably help you in:
- Choosing the best department of nuclear medicine or specialized center.
- Booking the appointment, including the urgent one.
- Preparing the preliminary diagnostic program, without repeating previous tests.
- Providing favorable cost of medical program, saving up to 50% due to the additional fees exclusion.
- Monitoring of the medical program by independent experts.
- Communication with treating physician after the course completion.
- Receiving and translating all the medical reports.
- Control of final calculation, return of unspent funds.
- Arrangement of follow-up examinations (blood tests, PSMA PET-CT).
- Non-medical service of the highest level: booking accommodation and tickets, services of interpreter, transfer organization.
To start preparation for the Lutetium-177 PSMA therapy, leave a request on the Booking Health website and wait for a call from a medical advisor.